AN ENERGY company looks set to appeal after its application to build a 14 turbine wind farm in Hampshire was refused.
The Bullington Cross wind farm, which will include turbines across the three districts of Winchester City Council, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Test Valley Borough Council, was refused by councillors amid concerns the site would affect local aviation, ecology and the landscape.
A spokesperson for EDF Energy Renewables said: “We are naturally disappointed at the decisions taken by the councils involved.
"We firmly believe the Bullington Cross site is an excellent location for a wind farm and one that has potential to generate significant benefits to both the local community and economy.
“The scheme has attracted high levels of support and encouragement from the local community and in particular, from the Hampshire Renewable Energy Cooperative. Thousands of letters of local support have been registered with the councils that recognised the importance and merits of the proposal.
“As a country we continue to face a significant challenge to maintain energy supply‚ tackle climate change and maintain affordable energy prices; the proposed scheme would make a positive contribution to all of these issues. We will now carefully review the grounds for this decision and consider our options going forward.”
But members of some local parish councils and pro-green groups said they were relieved with the decision.
Douglas Paterson, chairman of Keep Hampshire Green, said: “Obviously we are hugely relived. There are mixed emotions to be honest. I find myself very angry that we’ve all been put through this but I’m very grateful that the councils can see through that which they have been fed. I have huge thanks to the officers who kept a clear site. They gave no indication which way they were going to go until the very end.
“Now is the time to recognise what out planners do. We have a beautiful countryside and they have arbitrated through this and got it right. It says something for the democratic system that we won the day. We have the worry of appeal but we think that the reasons for refusal are so strong that we should win again.”
Lucy Dowson, South Wonston Parish Councillor for planning, said: “We’re absolutely delighted. We’re delighted that there are three planning authorities who listened to the recommendations of the planning officers and listened to local residents.”
A survey was carried out by the parish council earlier in the year which saw 25 per cent of the village respond. Of the responses, 80 per cent voted against the wind farm, 15 per cent voted in favour and the remaining five per cent had no opinion.
“We have done a survey and we have got evidence about what people really thought about it and it was clear people were very much against it,” Cllr Dowson added. “We’re slightly tempered because they might appeal but the fact that it’s backed by three authorities gives us hope for the future.”